|March Into Hell on Audible|
|Deeds of Mercy on Audible|
As wonderful as the stipends were, there are some drawbacks. The stipends expire after about 60 days. If I hadn't found a narrator in that time frame, there was no guarantee that the stipend would remain attached to it. That meant I had to find a narrator fairly quickly, and offer them a contract. Once they accepted the contract, they only had 60 days to complete the book, and that includes time for me to approve it.
I didn't understand some of these limitations last year when I offered the contract to one narrator. He didn't either, I don't think. We bit off more than we could chew and at the end of April, when he had only been able to complete a few chapters of one of the books, I appealed for the contract to be nullified per ACX's terms. It took several more weeks for that to happen.
Surprisingly, when I re-started the process of opening my books to auditions at the end of May, the stipends were still there for March Into Hell and Deeds of Mercy (so maybe they don't really expire? Hmmm...) So, I chose a new narrator and he completed both books by the end of August. The narrator did a good job--especially considering the time constraints--but we didn't quite click as partners in this process. Consequently, I opted to find a different narrator for No Good Deed and Mark Taylor: Genesis. I didn't have stipends for them, so I was worried about it.
I can't quite remember if I contacted Daniel Penz and asked him to audition after listening to dozens of narrators samples, or if he auditioned on his own and maybe he can answer that question in the comments? :) Anyway, he auditioned and I thought he sounded perfect for the book. He was willing to do it without a stipend, but I wanted to see if I could get one anyway. It only seemed fair since NGD is my bestseller. I felt it should have received one instead of either March Into Hell or Deeds of Mercy. I contacted ACX about three times via email and a couple of times by phone. The end result was that No Good Deed received a stipend. Persistence does pay off. However, I'm not going to try with Mark Taylor: Genesis as it's a much shorter book. (stipends pay by length of the book $100/per listening hour of the book.) Despite that, Daniel has agreed to narrate MT:G in January, taking time off for the holidays. Since No Good Deed worked for over two years as the first book in the series, I'm confident that it can continue to work as the starter for the audiobooks as well for a few more months.